Our top ten money-saving gadgets below can dramatically reduce your electric and heating bills.
Having recently acquired one of these, it's now become a permanent feature on my mantel. The little house tells me whether it's happy or sad based on energy consumption, and there's a neat little meter showing how much it costs each day to run my gadgets. Naturally, I run round the house looking for plugs to turn off in an effort to get the little house beaming, but be warned, it can become an addiction. Some suppliers will provide an energy monitor FOC so check first before buying one elsewhere.
Energy Saving bulbs
You would think that most people now have energy saving bulbs fitted in their houses but, according to the energy saving trust, most of the 650 million homes in the UK still use archaic filament bulbs. It's a wonder why as the savings are pretty subastantial over a long period of time. If you replace an old bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb, you can save £3 a year. Now multiply that by the number of rooms in your house and it soon adds up. Check with your energy supplier to see if they offer free bulbs.
They say that the best inventions are the simplest and the Ecoflap is no different. Fitted over your postbox, it ensures no cold breeze travels through into your house by clamping itself shut. It can apparently withstand 100mph winds but still allows the postie to deliver your mail without a hiccup. At £25.99, it's not cheap, but it could well be worth it if you can feel a draught around your front door.
Designed for desktop PCs, this little USB device can save you up to £50 a year. One touch of a button and it will put your PC into sleep mode immediately, saving you money along the way. It can even be used on networks, so is ideal for small businesses.
diy.com, from £7
You can easily save money and keep yourself warmer with radiator foil. It simply fixes to the wall behind your radiator and reflects the heat so that it is not wasted dissipating through the walls. Radiator foil is expected to save up to £8 a year per radiator. It works out fairly cheap too, but for the ultimate penny pincher, you could always get busy with some cardboard, tin foil and sticky tape for a free solution.
Solar panels are the future. Homeowners who clad their roof with panels can see returns of £670 a year. But,if you don't have £10,000 to shell out on roof panels, then the Freeloader charger may be for you. Simply plug in your mobile and the Freeloader internal battery will power it for 44 hours.
Designed to reduce the energy used by tumble dryers, these clever little balls have nodes on them which make your sheets softer and dry quicker. For that reason, they can save you a claimed 25% on each load, without the need to use fabric softener.
chimney-balloon.co.uk, from £22
If your house has a chimney, you're probably well aware of how much heat escapes up it, along with a draught that can chill even the warmest of rooms. It's simply a bag of air that rises and blocks the gap. It is estimated that a chimney can take up to 14% of air from a room, so this is ideal for saving money and keeping in heat.